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The Islamic tradition has always held animals in high esteem, deserving the same level of consideration as humans. The Qur'an opines that 'there is not an animal in the earth nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are people like you'. This fascinating and highly original book examines the status and nature of animals as they are portrayed in the Qur'an and in adjacent exegetical works, in which animals are viewed as spiritual, moral, intelligent and accountable beings. In this way, the study presents a challenge to the prevalent view of man's superiority over animals and suggests new ways of interpreting the Qur'an. By placing the discussion within the context of other religions and their treatment of animals, the book also makes a persuasive case for animal rights from an Islamic perspective.
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
--Acts 20:24 (ESV)
Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life," says Billy Graham, known by many as God's Ambassador. "I would have never guessed what God had in store for me, and I know that as I am nearing home, He will not forsake me the last mile of the way."
In "Nearing Home" this man of faith--now in his nineties--explores the challenges of aging while gleaning foundational truths from Scripture. Billy Graham invites us to journey with him as he considers the golden years while anticipating the hope of being reunited with his wife, Ruth, in his heavenly home that eclipses this world. "When granted many years of life, growing old in age is natural, but growing old with grace is a choice," says the author. "Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Join Billy Graham as he shares the challenges of fading strength but still standing strong in his commitment to finishing life well.
"Explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment and even joy that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God's point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day."
The debate about men and women in the church and in marriage continues to cause division among Christians. Most books on this issue are written from a firmly partisan point of view - complementarian or egalitarian. This one is unique. Andrew Bartlett draws on his theological learning and his skills as a judge and arbitrator to offer an even-handed assessment of the debate. His analysis is thorough but accessible. He engages with advocates of each view and all the key biblical texts, weighing the available evidence and offering fresh insights. He invites the reader to move beyond complementarian and egalitarian labels and seeks progress towards healing the division.
Welcome to "The Dance", the wise and practical book that expands on Oriah Mountain Dreamer's new moving prose poem. In this compelling book the acclaimed author of "The Invitation" challenges readers to live with passion, energy, and honesty. The key, says Oriah, is to savour the everyday world of family, friends, love, and work with clear minds and open hearts. When we are physically and emotionally stressed and our spirits are depleted, we must realise that happiness has not vanished but is buried beneath the clutter of our harried lives. With rare courage and honesty, Oriah unveils the challenge of her inspiring poem through compelling stories from her own experience, offering us tools to become fully the person we already are - not ways to change. 'To dance - to live in a way that is consistent with our longing' - is to discover a gift that we can give ourselves again and again over a lifetime. To dance, alone or with others, is to be who we truly are as we fulfill our soul's desires. To do this, we must learn how to let go and slow down, returning to the sacred emptiness where we encounter our true self. Practical, inspiring, and profoundly illuminating, "The Dance" is an invitation to discover a place of connection, serenity, and joy that is uniquely our own.
Discover the secret relationship between erotic, the sexual, and the sacred Sex is not negative or positive. Sex is not just neutral, nor is it merely sacred because it creates babies. None of these old sexual stories work for us anymore. We need a new sexual narrative. This book gives the new sexual narrative, what the authors call Sex Erotic. Erotic Mystics from the hidden tradition of Solomon's temple taught a secret doctrine: sex is the source of all wisdom. It's an expression of the erotic impulse of existence itself alive in us-the yearning for contact, pleasure, and aliveness. The sexual, however, is not the sum total of the erotic. Rather, the sexual teaches us how to live an erotic life in all dimensions of our existence. That is Sex Erotic. A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive, from Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid, reveals the radical tenets of the relationships between the sexual, the erotic, and the holy. They share what Eros actually means and also the 12 core qualities of the erotic, which are modeled by the sexual. These include being on the inside, fullness of presence, yearning, allurement, fantasy, surrender, creativity, pleasure, and more. A Return to Eros shows why these qualities of the erotic modeled by the sexual are actually the same core qualities of the sacred. The relationship between the sexual and the erotic becomes clear, teaching you how to live an erotically suffused existence charged with purpose, potency, and power. To be an empowered lover-not just in sex but also in all facets of your life-you must listen to the whisperings of the sexual. Transform your understanding and experience of love, sex, and Eros inside these pages.
The transformations Buddhism has been undergoing in the modern age have inspired much research over the last decade. The main focus of attention has been the phenomenon known as Buddhist modernism, which is defined as a conscious attempt to adjust Buddhist teachings and practices in conformity with the modern norms of rationality, science, or gender equality. This book advances research on Buddhist modernism by attempting to clarify the highly diverse ways in which Buddhist faith, thought, and practice have developed in the modern age, both in Buddhist heartlands in Asia and in the West. It presents a collection of case studies that, taken together, demonstrate how Buddhist traditions interact with modern phenomena such as colonialism and militarism, the market economy, global interconnectedness, the institutionalization of gender equality, and recent historical events such as de-industrialization and the socio-cultural crisis in post-Soviet Buddhist areas. This volume shows how the (re)invention of traditions constitutes an important pathway in the development of Buddhist modernities and emphasizes the pluralistic diversity of these forms in different settings.
As the world becomes increasingly globalised Islam faces some important choices. Does it seek to "modernise" in line with the cultures in which it is practised, or does it retain its traditions even if they are at odds with the surrounding society? This book utilizes a critical rationalist viewpoint to illuminate many of the hotly contended issues in modern Islam, and to offer a fresh analysis. A variety of issues within Islam are discussed in this book including, Muslims and modernity; Islam, Christianity and Judaism; approaches to the understanding of the Quran; Muslim identity and civil society; doctrinal certainty and violent radicalism. In each case, the author makes use of Karl Popper's theory of critical rationalism to uncover new aspects of these issues and to challenge post-modern, relativist, literalist and justificationist readings of Islam. This is a unique perspective on contemporary Islam and as such will be of significant interest to scholars of Religious Studies, Islamic Studies and the Philosophy of Religion.
Investigating the appeal of the group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the study expands on why non-violent radical forms of Islam still attract segments of Muslim communities in the West. Being one of the few comprehensive studies on HT, this book discusses how this Islamist group advocate for the caliphate and for the implementation of shari'a but also reject violence as a tool to achieve these goals. Through interviews with current HT members, observation at HT-sponsored events and social media analysis, this book leads the reader into the world of vocal radical Islamist groups, exploring their goals and activities in Western states, with a special focus on the UK and Australia. In fact, as many other non-violent Islamist groups, HT represent the choice of all those individuals who might share Islamist arguments but who reject the use of violence. Given their non-violent nature, vocal radicals are mostly free to operate in the Western world, attracting new members, conducting a relentless campaign against the "West as a system" and representing a serious source of concern not only for national authorities but for the broader Muslim community. This book stands as an original publication and paves the way to a new area of study crossing sociology, Islamic studies and political sciences. This book is one of the few contributions on vocal and radical Islamism to date.
Sumit K. Mandal uncovers the hybridity and transregional connections underlying modern Asian identities. By considering Arabs in the Malay world under European rule, Becoming Arab explores how a long history of inter-Asian interaction was altered by nineteenth-century racial categorisation and control. Mandal traces the transformation of Arabs from familiar and multi-faceted creole personages of Malay courts into alienated figures defined by economic and political function. The racialisation constrained but did not eliminate the fluid character of Arabness. Creole Arabs responded to the constraints by initiating transregional links with the Ottoman Empire and establishing modern social organisations, schools, and a press. Contentions emerged between organisations respectively based on Prophetic descent and egalitarianism, advancing empowering but conflicting representations of a modern Arab and Islamic identity. Mandal unsettles finite understandings of race and identity by demonstrating not only the incremental development of a modern identity, but the contested state of its birth.
While children figure prominently in religious traditions, few books have directly explored the complex relationships between children and religion. This is the first book to examine the theme of children in major religions of the world. Each of six chapters, edited by world-class scholars, focuses on one religious tradition and includes an introduction and a selection of primary texts ranging from legal to liturgical and from the ancient to the contemporary. Through both the scholarly introductions and the primary sources, this comprehensive volume addresses a range of topics, from the sanctity of birth to a child's relationship to evil, showing that issues regarding children are central to understanding world religions and raising significant questions about our own conceptions of children today. The religions discussed in this book include: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and, Confucianism.
It has been argued that the mystical Sufi form of Islam is the most sensitive to other cultures, being accommodative to other traditions and generally tolerant to peoples of other faiths. It readily becomes integrated into local cultures and they are similarly often infused into Sufism. Examples of this reciprocity are commonly reflected in Sufi poetry, music, hagiographic genres, memoires, and in the ritualistic practices of Sufi traditions. This volume shows how this often-side-lined tradition functions in the societies in which it is found, and demonstrates how it relates to mainstream Islam. The focus of this book ranges from reflecting Sufi themes in the Qur'anic calligraphy to movies, from ideals to everyday practices, from legends to actual history, from gender segregation to gender transgression, and from legalism to spiritualism. Consequently, the international panel of contributors to this volume are trained in a range of disciplines that include religious studies, history, comparative literature, anthropology, and ethnography. Covering Southeast Asia to West Africa as well as South Asia and the West, they address both historical and contemporary issues, shedding light on Sufism's adaptability. This book sets aside conventional methods of understanding Islam, such as theological, juridical, and philosophical, in favour of analysing its cultural impact. As such, it will be of great interest to all scholars of Islamic Studies, the Sociology of Religion, Religion and Media, as well as Religious Studies and Area Studies more generally.
Are you looking for a way to strengthen and cultivate your faith? The Weekly Faith Project is a 52-week guided faith journal that offers a life-changing journey through reflection prompts and inviting questions to guide you into a deeper relationship with God. This yearly faith journal features beautifully illustrated journaling pages that will help you discover more intimacy and joy in your spiritual life. The Weekly Faith Project is: Perfect for a beginner in faith, but strong and thought provoking enough for someone who already has a solid foundation A heartfelt journaling format designed to help you focus on adding more faith into your day An uplifting addition to individual worship, Bible studies, and small groups Each week includes: A biblical theme to focus on A short but impactful Bible verse to help you reflect and meditate Inspirational insight to guide your thoughts and jumpstart your faith project Journaling prompts and lines to help you reflect and cultivate a genuine faith This 12-month journal: Showcases beautiful photography and calming colors Has a pretty ribbon marker, so you never lose your place Provides a ton of journaling space, but easily fits on your nightstand, tote bag, or a gift basket Is perfect for a self-purchase, Mother's Day, National Best Friend Day, a welcoming gift for Bible study groups, birthdays, and holidays Check out the rest of the series, The Weekly Prayer Project and The Weekly Gratitude Project.
This book sets out how contemporary Iranian scholars have approached the Qur'an during recent decades. It particularly aims to explore the contributions of scholars that have emerged in the post 1979-revolution era, outlining their primary interpretive methods and foundational theories regarding the reading of the Qur'an. Examining issues such as the status of women, democracy, freedom of religion and human rights, this book analyses the theoretical contributions of several Iranian scholars, some of which are new to the English-speaking academy. The hermeneutical approaches of figures such Abdolkarim Soroush, Muhammad Mojtahed Shabestari, Mohsen Kadivar, Hasan Yousefi-Eshkevari, Abolqasem Fanaie and Mostafa Malekian are presented and then analysed to demonstrate how a contextualist approach to the Qu'ran has been formed in response to the influence of Western Orientalism. The effect of this approach to the Qu'ran is then shown to have wide-ranging effects on Iranian society. This study reveals Qu'ranic thought that has been largely overlooked by the West. It will, therefore. Be of great use to academics in Religious, Islamic and Qur'anic studies as well as those studying the culture of Iran and the Middle East more generally.
Texts after Terror offers an important new theory of rape and sexual violence in the Hebrew Bible. While the Bible is filled with stories of rape, scholarly approaches to sexual violence in the scriptures remain exhausted, dated, and in some cases even un-feminist, lagging far behind contemporary discourse about sexual violence and rape culture. Graybill responds to this disconnect by engaging contemporary conversations about rape culture, sexual violence, and #MeToo, arguing that rape and sexual violence - both in the Bible and in contemporary culture - are frequently fuzzy, messy, and icky, and that we need to take these features seriously. Texts after Terror offers a new framework informed by contemporary conversations about sexual violence, writings by victims and survivors, and feminist, queer, and affect theory. In addition, Graybill offers significant new readings of biblical rape stories, including Dinah (Gen. 34), Tamar (2 Sam. 13), Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11), Hagar (Gen. 16), Daughter Zion (Lam. 1-2), and the unnamed woman known as the Levite's concubine (Judges 19). Texts after Terror urges feminist biblical scholars and readers of all sorts to take seriously sexual violence and rape, while also holding space for new ways of reading these texts that go beyond terror, considering what might come after.
How can material artifacts help illuminate the religious lives of women in antiquity? In what ways do archaeological and art historical studies recover women's religious perspectives and experiences that the literary record misses or underrepresents? The authors of the essays in this volume set out to answer such questions in fascinating, new case studies of women and ancient religions in the Near East and Mediterranean world. They cover a broad historical, geographic, and religious spectrum as they explore women's lives from the time of ancient Egypt in the second millennium BCE into the early medieval period, from the Syrian Desert to Western Europe, in the religious traditions of Egypt, Canaan, Greece, Rome, ancient Israel, early Judaism, and early Christianity. Working at the intersections of religion, archaeology, art history, and women's history, these authors make fresh contributions to interdisciplinary studies, and their essays will be of interest to students and scholars across these academic fields.
Following on from the internationally bestselling The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler bring us the inspiring The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World. This inspirational book brings the successful East-meets-West pairing together again to provide a practical application of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual values to the fast-paced, unpredictable, stressful and demanding world we all live in today. In this wise, insightful and practical book, the Dalai Lama shows us how to follow the path that will lead us to fulfilment, purpose and happiness, even in our troubled modern times.
Islam through Objects represents the state of the field of Islamic material cultural studies. With contributions from scholars of religion, anthropologists, art historians, folklorists, historians, and other disciplines, Anna Bigelow brings together a wide range of perspectives on Islamic materiality to debunk myths of Islamic aversion to material aspects of religion. Each chapter focuses on a single object in daily use by Muslims-prayer beads, coins, amulets, a cistern well, clothing, jewellery, bodily and domestic adornments-to consider both generic and particular aspects of the object in question. These narratives will engage the reader by describing and analyzing each object in terms of its provenance, materials, uses, and history, as well as the broader history, variety and uses of the object in Islamic history and cultures. Temporal, regional, and sectarian variations in the styles, uses, and theological perspectives are also considered. Framed by an introduction that assesses the various approaches to Islamic material culture in recent scholarship, Islam through Objects provides a template for the study of religion and material culture, which engages current theory, subtle and nuanced narratives, and the creative and imaginal capacities of Muslims through history.
Life is full of endless noise - from your phone, the buzz of people, traffic and television. You are also subject to internal noise - worries, fears, negative emotions and racing thoughts. Fuelling stress and anxiety, this overload is harmful to your mental and physical health, distracting you from living a fulfilling, purposeful and peaceful life. Drawing on the practices, beliefs and teachings of Buddhism, this book explains the causes of the 'noise', looking at your relationship with people, money and technology. It reveals the benefits of turning your consciousness inwards and with a new awareness teaches you how to quieten your mind. Offering powerful insights, simple tips and helpful advice, A Quiet Mind is the key to achieving ease, finding balance and calm in a chaotic world.
Often characterized as David facing Goliath on the tennis court, at 5'9" and 150 pounds Michael Chang is used to playing with the big hitters. What he lacks in stature, he makes up for in determination. A serious contender at any Grand Slam event, his bold statement of faith in God makes him a role model we can all look up to. "What's nice," Michael says, "is that, as long as my priorities are straight, I'm able to go out with the mentality to really leave the winning and losing up to the Lord." In Holding Serve readers get a unique glimpse at Team Chang, Michael's powerful family unit that he credits with much of his success. Michael also shares the story of how he became a Christian and the central role his faith has played in his achievements.
The book evaluates on-going ethical conversations to learn how emotional communication is received, teachings are internalized, and a religious world-view is brought to life. Exploring how religious values saturate people's consciousness to induce subtle shifts in moral and ethical sensibilities, this book is about people's practices that illuminate how Islam is lived. Based on fieldwork conducted in Ankara between 2010 and 2016, the study enquires into people's ethical, religious, and moral motivations through the use of the ethnographic method and "thick description". Conversations and interviews with officials, community leaders, students, entrepreneurs, professionals, and blue-collar workers were subjected to close scrutiny to foreground societal change and churning. To capture perspectives absent or deliberately overlooked in mainstream public discourse and scholarship, fieldwork was conducted in locations ranging from homes, offices, and university dorms to the shrines of saints. In listening closely to how people talk about their religious practices, the book addresses the question of how Islamic subjectivities are being forged in Turkey. The study unveils how people are pushed to re-think old practices and attitudes in the process of reinterpreting Islam in light of contemporary concerns. Filling a gap in the literature where micro-level, grounded analyses of culture and society are relatively rare, this book is a key resource for readers interested in the anthropology of religion and gender, ethnography, Turkey, and the Middle East.
In response to her own motherís death, Starhawk, the bestselling author of the classic Spiral Dance, along with other Pagan authors, created in inspiring collection of essays, original prayers, blessings, and meditations that present the Pagan way of dying. In the tradition of such bestsellers as How We Die and The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, it offers a new understanding of death and the rituals that surround it, adding insight and depth to spirituality.An inclusive, respectful, and deeply spiritual guidebook for those in the Pagan community and beyond, this powerful resource will help the dying make the transition between life and death, and their loved ones will find spiritual comfort and strength through the grieving process. It shows us that death can be a process of renewal and transformation.
Both personal and scholarly in tone, this book encourages readers to think theologically, ethically, and politically about the statement that declares: "God loves diversity and justice." The multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-disciplinary, and multi-gendered identities of the eleven contributors and two respondents deepen the conversation. It considers questions such as: Do we affirm or challenge this theological statement? Do we concentrate on "God" in our response or do we interrogate what diversity and justice mean in light of God's love for diversity and justice? Alternatively, do we prefer to ponder the verb, to love, and consider what it might mean for society if people really believed in a divinity loving diversity and justice? Of course, there are no easy and simple answers whether we consult the Sikh scriptures, the Bible, the Qur'an, the movies, the Declaration of Human Rights, or the transgender movement, but the effort is worthwhile. The result is a serious historical, literary, cultural, and religious discourse that fends against intellectually rigid thought and simplistic belief systems across the religious spectrum. In our world in which so much military unrest and violence, economic inequities, and religious strife prevail, such a conversation nurtures theological, ethical, and political possibilities of inclusion and justice.
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